Teams searching for bargain prices

Teams that have budgetary issues are being patient in hopes that the price will drop on their favorite targets.

Updated: December 31, 2003, 9:45 AM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN Insider
Now that the Phillies have signed Shawn Wooten to back up Jim Thome at first base, the biggest items on the Philadelphia baseball calendar are broadcaster Harry Kalas' contract status and the countdown to the Veterans Stadium implosion.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, are in the middle of an implosion without the benefit of dynamite. Two months into the offseason, they've addressed the worst offense west of Comerica Park by trading for Juan Encarnacion and re-signing Robin Ventura. This is not the way to sell season tickets.

In Chicago, Cubs GM Jim Hendry has achieved his major goals of upgrading the bullpen, first base and the bench. He's also signed two veteran second basemen in Mark Grudzielanek and Todd Walker. Now it's time to focus on disposing of that Steve Bartman baseball.

Jerry Crasnick

ESPN Senior Writer